First Nighter was one of the earliest radio anthology series, with a new presentation each week, usually of the comedy-drama genre. It was designed to be like a Broadway opening at "the little theater off Times Square" and the sound effects and buzz of an excited crowd made it seem that way. The production was before a live audience and the performers were in formal attire. The show was hosted by "Mr. First Nighter," which was played by a number of actors including Bret Morrison (later famous as The Shadow) and Marvin Miller (known for The Whistler). The main male and female characters in the stories were played by Les Tremayne and Barbara Luddy (1936-1943) and Olan Soule with Luddy for the remainder of the series.
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Joe Hehn (1931-2020) was a pioneering collector of radio recordings when the hobby emerged in the 1960s. The Joe Hehn Memorial Collection is comprised of many recordings and documents. The latter include scripts, program documentation, catalogs of fellow collectors, and old time radio fanzines of the period. These documents are being scanned into Adobe Acrobat PDF files. Digitizing his collection of reel tapes and discs is the effort of a wide range of North American volunteers, and includes assistance of some international collectors. The groups supporting this effort with their funds, time, technology and skills are the Old Time Radio Researchers and a small group of transcription disc preservationists who refer to themselves as the "The Knights of the Turning Table."